At Lunch Now: The Not Unexpected Madness of Shake Shack’s Opening Lunch

The highly anticipated new Midtown Shake Shack (on 44th and 8th Ave.) might have soft opened on Saturday… but lunch today is their first real test. Ready to brave the madness? Our man Jeremiah is sending live reports from the scene to help you decide.

11:45 am – Just got to the brand new Shake Shack on 44th and 8th, and shockingly it’s not really mobbed at all. Maybe a dozen people in line. Pix 11 is here taping people order. I’m ready for my close up!

11:49 am – The line’s moving pretty quick and it’s decidedly not-hectic. Still probably less than 20 people in line.

11:50 am – Deciding what to order. I’m obviously getting. A burger… and a concrete. The question is, should I get a Chicago dog too?

11:54 am – Ordered. 9 minutes on line… not bad at all. Clearly getting here before Noon was the way to go. Hamburger, single with pickle and onion. “Shack-ago” dog and a (new to this location only) Pretzel concrete. Damage – $14.25. Zach! I need a raise!

11:56 am – The line is growing. And there’s about 10 people like me waiting for food.  We’re approaching capacity for the line that doesn’t make use of all available space. Get ready for Out The Door status!

11:57 am -  And… the line is out the door.  That didn’t take long

Noon – One ketchup dispenser is already out of order. First day disaster?

12:01 pm – Waiting for my buzzer to go off.  I feel like I’m at Outback Steakhouse.

12:05 pm – Here it is. My first Midtown Lunch at Shake Shack. I’m going to be busy for the next 10 minutes.

12:06 pm – There a lot of people photographing their food here. One girl has an impromptu studio set up. Zach – what have you turned me into?

12:07 pm – The line is probably 40 or so deep now, slightly out the door. And it’s not exactly moving “fast.”

12:10 pm – Oh, and as if needed to be said… that’s a pretty delicious burger.

12:13 pm – Here’s my blogger paparazzi photo.  Don’t know who they are, but the one on the left has been chatting with employees.  It seems pretty “official”.  (Btw… that photo is for you Sam Sifton!)

12:16 pm – To answer the commenter, the drinking water dispenser is operational. I’m enjoying free water right now!

12:20 pm – This pretzel concrete seems to be chocolate custard, chocolate covered pretzels, marshmallow sauce and peanut butter sauce. It’s delicious, and I think it’s going to be the death of me.

12:21 pm – The Chicago dog was pretty good. Definitely the best I’ve had outside of Chicago. Hey Shake Shack, want to take a crack the Italian roast beef too? How about deep dish pizza?

12:27 pm – It’s ten minutes from just outside the door to placing your order.

12:28 pm – They’re handing out custard samples to people on the line outside. That’s good business.

12:30 pm – Ok, about 25 minutes from getting here to having food… if you got here at 12:05.  Guessing it’s longer now.

Do you see yourself?!

12:33 pm- Ok, I should get back to work before the boss man checks Midtown Lunch and realizes I left for lunch 90 minutes after getting to work. If you hit up the Shack today (or are there right now), let us know (via email or twitter)- and we’ll keep posting updates to this page.

12:39 pm- The line now stretches all the way to Lace.

12:48 pm – Maybe this will be a good thing for Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen. Walked by on my way back to work… and I don’t know what they are normally like, but it didn’t look terribly slow. (I was still holding a shake shack custard cup, so I felt weird going inside…)

1:00 pm – Clearly I was too busy stuffing my face to make the photos look pretty… for those of you who are interested, Grub Street and Eater have two more professional looks at the new Shack.

1:02 pm – If you showed up at 12:36pm, you are probably ordering your food right now.

1:14 pm – Not everybody had to wait in line for Shake Shack today. Must be nice.

1:30 pm – Also fixing to benefit from the Shake Shack?  Dean and Deluca

1:49 pm – In case you thought things might be slowing down… they’re not.  It’s still “fucking crowded and crazy”

2:01 pm – Wait time is now 20 minutes on line, 7 minutes for food.  That’s faster than Madison Square Park… right?

2:20 pm – Sorry… 27 minutes was just before 1pm. More recent update: 45 minute wait just to order. Ouch. Mostly to blame? Indecisive tourists.

3:30pm – Apparently things have calmed down… just in time for afternoon custard! 9 minutes to place order, 1 minute to receive custard- although Lunch’er “Ron” notices that there is no custard only line!  “Why not!?”


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